Tomato Jam from Martha Stewart Show

As promised, the recipe for Early Girl Tomato Jam follows below the jump — this is the same recipe that was featured on The Martha Stewart Show. This is one of the recipes featured in The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook, which is full of important information, like how to know for sure when your jam is done.

Check out the video clip below if you need some guidance; if you’re feeling confident, then just jump right in!

Early Girl Tomato Jam

From The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook

This most simple of tomato jams reminds us that tomatoes are a fruit, and one of the very best. Early Girl tomatoes, especially when dry farmed, are spectacularly sweet and thick skinned. Mace and salt bring our their flavor perfectly.

9 pounds medium sweet tomatoes, such as Early Girl
3 pounds 15 ounces white cane sugar
2 1/4 ounces strained freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 small blade of mace
2 small pinches of salt

Place a saucer with five metal teaspoons in a flat place in your freezer for testing the jam later.

Bring a medium kettle of water to a boil, then carefully drop the tomatoes into the water to loosen their skins. Leave the tomatoes immersed for 1 minute, then drain them in a large colander. When they are cool enough to handle, peel them over a large heat-proof mixing bowl, discarding the skins. Place a cutting board on a rimmed baking sheet and chop the tomatoes into medium pieces. Transfer the tomatoes and their juices back into the mixing bowl. Add the sugar and lemon juice, stirring well to combine. Transfer the mixture to an 11- or 12-quart copper preserving pan or a wide nonreactive kettle. Place the mace into a fine-mesh stainless-steel tea infuser with a firm latch and add it to the mixture.

Bring the jam mixture to a boil over high heat. Add the salt and decrease the heat slightly. Skim off any surface foam with a large stainless-steel spoon. Continue to cook, monitoring the heat closely, until the jam thickens and no longer seems watery, 30 to 45 minutes. Scrape the bottom of the pan often with a heatproof rubber spatula, and decrease the heat gradually as more and more moisture cooks out of the jam. For the final 15 to 20 minutes of cooking, or when the jam starts to visibly thicken, stir the jam gently and constantly to prevent burning.

To test the jam for doneness, carefully transfer a small representative half-spoonful to one of your frozen spoons. Replace the spoon in the freezer for 3 to 4 minutes, then remove and carefully feel the underside of the spoon. It should be neither warm nor cold; if still warm, return it to the freezer for a moment. Nudge the jam gently with your finger; if it seems thickened and gloppy when you nudge it, it is either done or nearly done. Tilt the spoon vertically to see how quickly the jam runs; if it runs very slowly, and if it has thickened to a cohesive consistency, it is done. If it runs very quickly or appears water, cook it for another few minutes, stirring, and test again as needed.

When the jam is ready, remove the mesh tea infuser. Skim any remaining foam from the surface of the jam. Pour the jam into sterilized jars and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions or as directed on page 42 [of the cookbook].

Approximate Yield: eleven to twelve 8-ounce jars Shelf Life: 1 year


  1. Wow!

  2. Can’t wait for the summer season of tomatoes at our local farmers market. This recipe sounds so good. I like the idea of serilizing the jars in the oven and then sealing the jars in the oven.

  3. what was the process for sterilization in the oven? I missed the temperature and for how long. Thanks

  4. Hi Lori! Preheat your oven to 250degrees; once oven is preheated, put in your clean jars. You want them in for at least 30 minutes before jarring to ensure they are thoroughly heated. Once your jam is jarred, return jars to the oven for 15 minutes. Happy jamming!

  5. Rachel,

    So tempted to grab some extra tomatoes and give this a try!

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